Wednesday, October 13, 2010

mad about jewelry and very crazy

I'm enjoying my job but the work is hard and complicated.  The people are very nice and a half dozen women -- basically all of the female staff -- eat lunch together in the lunchroom every day.  Nice having lunch with women, even if I am the eldest.

I have to say it's very cool working around a gazillion beads every day. For a lot of this morning, I seemed to be mostly running around bringing beads from one place to another, and I felt like I was living a charmed life.  But today did get very busy when I had to start doing some very complicated pricing paperwork and inputting things into the system and assigning numbers to parts and calling vendors.  It was a little overwhelming -- it had been explained to me and I took copious notes, but it takes a little while to put that together with actually doing the work.  The last person who had this job didn't last long, but the one before her put together some really great instructions and guides, as well as spreadsheets I can copy and update.  I'm getting my Excel chops back and learning the in-house computer program.

I wish I spoke better Spanish.  I understand it fairly well, but really can't speak it.  A lot of the women in design and factory are Spanish-speaking, and although we communicate fairly well, it would be better if I could speak Spanish.

I met Stephen my first day, and he was very nice.  He actually quizzed me on a bead, and I answered too quickly -- a little nervous -- and got it wrong.  But the second guess was right.  I like all four brothers, who are all co-owners and all work there.

It's just insane that I got a bead job.  Even though I'm basically in the production department of a manufacturer, it's beads and jewelry.  When I get those costing forms to fill out and look things up and check pricings -- each one is a bunch of papers in a big zip-loc bag, with a sample of the piece of jewelry to which it refers.  So I can look at it and handle it -- plus, I have to make spreadsheets with pictures of the jewelry in it.  Today, I had to price beads for a piece of jewelry, and two of the beads were priced by the gram, rather than by the bead or strand.  So I had to go to the design room, show the necklace, get one of each of the beads loose, and weight them.  Oddly enough, this job is very similar to the one Barry had at many button companies, but I get to do it with beads.  Yahoo!

Some years ago, I had a very boring job but worked right across the street from the block (37th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) where there are about eight bead stores, plus a few on Sixth Avenue and one on Seventh.  Almost every day, I would spend my lunch hour in those store, probably only buying one in ten times.  Mostly I just liked to be around them and get inspired.  My job is kind of like that, although I don't have the time to stand and gawk at the beads.  Though I must admit, I did go into the bead room a couple of times and spend just about two minutes staring and slowly turning around -- it's not a large room, but strands of beads on hooks cover every wall, floor to ceiling.  In fact, the first time I went in, I couldn't find the light switch -- it's hidden under strands of pearls.  Every time I walk near a wall of beads (there are three, not counting the bead room), I quiz myself a little bit.  I'm better at beads than at Spanish. 

But it's pretty much all working, except lunch hour.  There's no slack time at all; on the other hand, everyone pretty much bolts at 5:30. But working with beads, and working for a talented designer, is a pretty wonderful job, so far.

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